ICANN Under Commerce’s Thumb

USA Today: A senior U.S. official rejected calls on Thursday for a U.N. body to take over control of the main computers that direct traffic on the Internet, reiterating U.S. intentions to keep its historical role as the medium’s principal overseer.
“We will not agree to the U.N. taking over the management of the Internet,” said Ambassador David Gross, the U.S. coordinator for international communications and information policy at the State Department. “Some countries want that. We think that’s unacceptable.”
Many countries, particularly developing ones, have become increasingly concerned about the U.S. control, which stems from the country’s role in creating the Internet as a Pentagon project and funding much of its early development.
In 1998, the U.S. Commerce Department selected ICANN to oversees the Internet’s master directories, which tell Web browsers and e-mail programs how to direct traffic. Internet users around the world interact with them everyday, likely without knowing it.
Although ICANN is a private organization with international board members, Commerce ultimately retains veto power.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.